Like battle royale titles, looter shooters are constantly emerging in pursuit of the success of Destiny and Destiny 2. Games like Avengers have struggled to make their mark, and others like Anthem have completely failed. But the newest title to emerge, Outriders, has seemed to hit the mark where plenty of others have fallen short.
It can be daunting to jump into another looter-shooter if you’re already invested in another. If you’re a Destiny 2 player, you may be wondering if Outriders is worth your time. To help you compare and contrast the two, here’s our full rundown of Destiny 2 vs. Outriders. Let’s start with the basics.
What is Outriders?
Outriders is a third-person sci-fi cooperative shooter developed by People Can Fly and published by Square Enix. Released in April 2021, it’s functionally a games-as-a-service title without much of the monetization or strung along story associated with the genre.
At the time it released with mixed-to-positive reviews, with many praising the gameplay and level design, but criticizing the story and characters.
What is Destiny 2?
Destiny 2 is a free-to-play first-person sci-fi cooperative shooter developed by Bungie, creator of the esteemed Halo franchise. As the name suggests, Destiny 2 is the follow-up to the company’s hit title, 2014’s Destiny.
Released in 2017 as a full-price game to generally positive reviews, it has since transitioned to being free-to-play and released a number of large MMO-like expansions over the last few years.
Destiny 2 vs. Outriders: Comparing Key Elements
Here, we’ll go into a detailed comparison of both games.
When it comes to gameplay, who wins in the battle between Destiny 2 vs. Outriders? On the surface, the gameplay between both games seems pretty similar. They’re both multiplayer shooters, where you run through a varied series of levels and environments taking out hordes of enemies to earn loot. However, the first difference here is the perspective.
Destiny 2 is a first-person shooter with the refined gunplay and movement Bungie established with Halo. Outriders is third-person and plays more like a cover shooter similar to Gears of War. These camera perspectives truly define the gameplay style, with Destiny 2 encouraging rapid movement and Outriders leaning into more cautious and strategic play. Not to say that Destiny isn’t strategic, but it requires you to think through your builds and situation from a meta-level.
Outside of the weapons, the other core aspect of both games is the class you choose.
In Outriders, you have four options to choose from:
- Pyromancer: Fire control
- Technomancer: Gadget summoning
- Devastator: Seismic disruption
- Trickster: Time manipulation
Each class has specific skill trees with three specializations to focus on that build up the stats around your abilities and your general stats. Additionally, you have eight skills to choose from with the ability to run three at a given time. The key here is to learn which combos work for you and switch them out when necessary.
Destiny 2, on the other hand, has just three classes:
These classes each have four subclasses to choose from with Void, Solar, and Arc having three preset skill chains to run with. Stasis is the most complex ability system and leverages Aspects and Fragments to adjust specific abilities.
2. Story and World
To put this simply, Destiny 2 takes place across multiple locations, taking you from planet to planet. Outriders focuses on one ever-changing location known as Enoch. Both games provide visually unique biomes to explore and search, with specific challenges and missions littered throughout every locale.
The one thing to know is that Destiny 2 has an expansive and ever-evolving story that has spun out of the original game. Outriders, so far, is a relatively self-contained tale that most players have found to be relatively uninteresting. This isn’t really a knock against it, since the gameplay outshines the story, but Destiny 2 has found a balance between the two, especially in recent seasons.
3. Base Game, Expansions, and Monetization
Destiny 2 is split between PvE and PvP content. PvE includes three-person strikes and dungeons, some single-player missions and six-player Raids, and general exploration. The PvP content is split between the Crucible and Gambit modes, which pit Guardians against one another with various objectives and limitations.
Outriders is strictly a PvE experience. It functions more like Borderlands, where you’re simply pursuing loot and trying to min-max your character as you progress. The missions you can run solo or with three-man teams, with the ability to increase the difficulty to gain better rewards.
Now, Destiny 2 is releasing content in seasons, providing new experiences every 3–4 months. These seasons add new challenges, game modes, story content, and gear to pursue. Additionally, they release annual expansions that provide heavy dumps of content, such as new sub-classes and planets, to the world. Access to the season pass currently costs $5 and expansions cost $30-$40.
People Can Fly have claimed to have no expansions or additions in mind. So, as of now, the base game and content are what you get. So if you want a contained experience you can grind out without fear of falling behind, Outriders fits that bill.
4. Weapons, Gear, and Collectibles
The base weapon and gear rarity system between both games are relatively similar. The main difference is that Outriders top-tier items (Legendary Gear) can be equipped however you’d like. While Destiny 2’s top-tier gear (Exotics) are limited to one weapon and one piece of armor. However, Legendary gear is equally important, and provides unique perks and builds that can be mixed and matched. You can also upgrade weapons and ear through a system called Masterworking, that upgrades stats and adds unique benefits.
Without PvP, Outriders simply has more freedom to go crazy with gear and weapon combos. Destiny 2 is unfortunately limited in this capacity, but still makes the hunt for new gear very satisfying, especially with challenging missions like Presage.
You also have Mods in both games. In Outriders, Mods present passive bonuses that can be applied and switched out across the board. Destiny 2 on the other hand, have specific weapon, armor and Ghost Mods, that can be earned and applied using Energy for each piece of gear. These are sets that can augment perks, abilities and support other Mods as a unit.
5. End-Game Content
The grind in both games is designed to help you build up your power, resources, and abilities to take on challenging end-game content.
In Outriders, these are represented as High-End Expedition missions. These are typically timed missions that require you and your team to complete several objectives, like killing enemies or claiming a capture point. Your speed is what matters here, with the ability to earn gold, silver, or bronze medals, along with endgame-only currency. You can keep going after higher challenge tiers for the chance at unlocking better and better gear.
Destiny 2, on the other hand, has a wider array of end-game content to take on. The most well-known are Raids. These are six-player challenges that combine puzzle-solving, platforming, and incredibly challenging boss battles into one massive mission. There are also specific challenge modes released after the launch of new Raids, that require you and your Fireteam to eliminate specific enemies and deal with additional debuffs.
Besides Raids, there are also Grandmaster Nightfalls, which amp up the difficulty and modifiers for Strikes, and Trials of Osiris, a three-person PvP elimination mode. The one thing to keep in mind between the two games is that Outriders provides matchmaking for all end-game content. Destiny 2 only allows you to team up with people that you know for these more difficult encounters. This may have to do with the end-game content requiring greater coordination or to keep it more exclusive to players willing to invest in the community.
Since Destiny 2 is an established franchise, there is a far more established community. While it has had its ups and downs over the years, with especially low player counts just before Bungie separated from Activision, it’s now healthier than ever. With the recent rerelease of the Vault of Glass Raid, the player count on Steam hit a seasonal peak and made it the third most popular game on the platform.
Outriders, on the other hand, is a relatively new title that received a lot of buzz just after the release of its beta. Upon release, it garnered an incredibly healthy amount of players, that only continued to climb in the following weeks. That being said, with everything having matchmaking, reaching end-game content showcases an unfortunately toxic community. This is relatively common for newly released multiplayer games, where the race to get to the top makes it much easier for different tiers of players to group up.
Overall, both Outriders vs. Destiny 2 have relatively strong communities. The Destiny 2 community is a bit more vast and mature, with a slightly more direct connection to the developer team. Outriders is still a welcome place to play but has the growing pains of a young game, and the unfortunate side effect of a self-contained game. That means that while it’s been hot, it may begin to dwindle a bit as more players hit the end game and stop grinding.
Become a High Grounder
Both Destiny 2 and Outriders are incredibly enjoyable games with similar game models and general action. However, that’s where the similarities end — the story, world, loot pool, and end-game content are vastly unique to each game.
In short, Destiny 2 is great if you’re looking for a free-to-play title, a fan of first-person shooters, and want a game that will continue to grow over time. Outriders is great for those looking for a new, self-contained experience, with an intricate stat system and that don’t care about the story.
So, what do you think of these games? Which one are you investing time into? Or are you playing both? Let us know by sharing this article on your favorite social channels. And for the latest news, guides, and rankings in the gaming industry, be sure to subscribe to the High Ground Gaming newsletter.